Oral healthcare is a big priority when you are responsible for a family, yet keeping up with more than one set of teeth can be more challenging than you ever imagined. Fortunately, it is possible to improve your entire family's oral health by using these simple strategies.
Know Your Current Oral Health Status
It is important to start with a complete dental exam that lets you set a baseline for your family's oral health, and each member of your family should know where they stand regarding things such as decay and gum disease.
During this exam, you can also begin discussing ways to improve each person's oral health. For young kids, this may mean helping them avoid bad oral health habits such as thumb sucking, while older adults may need to arrange for services such as fillings to restore their oral health.
Set Up an Oral Hygiene Station
Every member of your family should have their own toothbrush and access to oral health supplies such as dental floss and toothpaste. Make it easy for everyone to find what they need by setting up a designated space in your bathroom for everyone to complete their oral hygiene routine.
Protect Teeth During Sports Activities
Sports injuries are a common cause of cracked or lost teeth, and replacing a lost tooth becomes more complicated as your kid's permanent teeth grow in. Insist that your children wear proper protection during sports, such as mouth guards and helmets, to preserve their oral health.
Make Healthy Eating and Drinking a Priority
Nutrition plays a big role in your oral health since everything that you put in your mouth affects your teeth and gums. For instance, acidic foods such as citrus juices and candy promote tooth decay by slowly eroding away the enamel on your family's teeth.
Try to limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks that your family has in the house. If your family does indulge in a treat, encourage them to rinse with water afterward to limit how long acids stay in their mouth.
It is also helpful to understand which foods are best for promoting oral health. Dairy products, such as cheese, help build stronger teeth because they contain calcium. Additionally, fresh vegetables such as carrots help remove plaque and tarter as your family eats.
Schedule Regular Dental Exams and Cleanings
Life gets busy when you have a family, and it is easy to overlook those dental appointments when they occur every several months. However, each member of your family should be receiving regular dental care that includes x-rays and cleanings.
Spend some time figuring out a scheduling tactic that works best for you. While some parents scheduling everyone at once, others find it easier to spread out the appointments. Once you know your preference, schedule your appointments ahead of time and set up reminders on your smartphone.
Teach Your Children Proper Brushing and Flossing Techniques
Most young children need help with brushing their teeth. Yet, even older children sometimes need coaching to make sure that they are using the correct technique.
Observe your children during their oral hygiene routine, and offer them a few pointers such as to make sure that they are flossing both sides of their teeth. It also helps to have their hygienist show them proper techniques if they have unique needs, such as needing to brush around metal braces.
Our dentist, Brian W. Hazen, D.M.D., cares about your family's oral health, and he is always ready to provide you with personalized strategies that keep everyone's smiles shiny and bright. Give us a call today to set up your family's exams and improve everyone's oral health.